European shares have plunged to 16-month lows, extending an aggressive sell-off, was investors shed risky assets on persistent concern over the pace of growth. Grace Pascoe reports.
Global markets have experienced a turbulent start to 2016 And a sorry start to the week, With European stocks hitting 16-month lows on persistent concern over the pace of global growth. Robert Halver is from Baader Bank. (SOUNDBITE) (German) HEAD OF CAPITAL MARKET ANALYSIS AT BAADER BANK, ROBERT HALVER, SAYING: "The biggest problem is not the conflicts we are having, but the monetary policy, also now in China, tolerates these very apparent conflicts. You have to act against that. You have to support the stock markets, because the fundamental picture won't become better when investor sentiment is bad." At the weekend the Chinese currency took a further hit. Dollars were dumped to defend the yuan and curb capital outflows - after the central bank announced its currency reserves had fallen by nearly $100 billion dollars. Lunar New Year means Singapore, Hong Kong and China's stock markets are all closed. Mike Ingram from BGC Partners says all eyes are now on the U.S. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BGC PARTNERS, MARKET ANALYST, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "The big event of the week has to be Janet Yellen's testimony before congress later on this week. And the second thing of course is the economic data including non-farm payrolls arguably are coming in softer. The headline number was soft but there was a jump in wage growth. So perhaps the Fed is going to have to hike rates even in the face of a slowing U.S. economy." Oil prices fell again with U.S. crude futures dropping more than a dollar to below 30 dollars per barrel. OPEC producers Saudi Arabia and Venezuela met but gave little sign they are prepared to do anything to boost prices or cut supply.